NAB CEO Gordon Smith opened up the NAB Convention in Las Vegas, Monday, with a speech that touched on issues concerning both TV and radio. Smith said radio’s future depends on it being available on every device and making choices that support its innovations. He said radio must continue to evolve to keep the Millenials engaged. He then discussed several other issues the NAB will be working on for radio.
Smith said the industry will continue its push to make radio receivers available in every smartphone and he mentioned the successes so far with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Then Smith turned to the dashboard and said the industry is focused on keeping radio in the automotive dashboard of the future. “A recent study on the connected car reveals that radio is indispensable to drivers – it is the most used and most important audio source by far. And while many drivers desire interactive features, the great majority also want a traditional radio interface. We know that radio is what drivers want most, and we’ll also ensure that Detroit knows it. We must and we will continue to retain our rightful place in the automobile, offering not just the radio everyone knows, loves, and expects, but, also providing our interactive experience for those listeners who desire it. In the end, the customer is king and our listeners will decide what they want and what is on the dash.”
Smith also mentioned that due to NAB’s advocacy, the Copyright Royalty Board recently reduced rates for radio broadcasters’ streaming services by 32 percent and said a majority of the House of Representatives now opposes any new royalty on over-the-air radio. The NAB has been working hard to get as many signatures as possible on the Local Radio Freedom Act